Crowdfunding grant set-up to assist with West Ludington Ave. transformation. 

February 26, 2018

Proposed West Ludington Ave. project.

Crowdfunding grant set-up to assist with West Ludington Ave. transformation. 

LUDINGTON — A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to help cover costs of the transformation of the west-end of Ludington Avenue. According to a press release from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, if the campaign goal of $32,500 is reached by April 1, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program.

Later this year, the City of Ludington will transform the end of Ludington Avenue into a pedestrian plaza at Stearns Beach. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity:  crowdfunding campaign. For project details and to donate, visit: http://www.patronicity.com/ludington.

“The activation of spaces that have long been underused is what Public Spaces Community Places is about,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Katharine Czarnecki. “We are pleased to provide resources for and serve as a partner in this effort to create an accessible pedestrian plaza and asset for the Ludington community.”

The plaza will be a place to hold public and private events and will include an area for events tables, several accessible benches for sunset watching and enjoying the view of Lake Michigan, a connection to the Lake Michigan Water Trail Stop via accessible walkway, and a kayak rack for water trail users. The new space will have less parking then the current configuration.

“The city of Ludington is excited and appreciative of the MEDC’s decision to provide matching funds under the Public Spaces Community Places program for the city’s From West End to Best End project,” said Ludington City Manager John Shay. “These grant funds will assist the city in transforming an underutilized piece of waterfront property into a popular gathering space, which will be universally accessible to all people. The PSCP program will be instrumental in increasing the public’s access to the waterfront for many years to come.”

The city has also received $300,000 from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund, $51,000 from the Community Foundation for Mason County, and $80,000 from West Shore Bank.

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity, in which local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, nonprofits and other business entities can apply at https://patronicity.com/puremichigan.

“Enhancing public spaces and turning them into appealing community assets is key to great placemaking,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “Ludington’s plan to create a lively plaza at Stearns Beach will make a great use of that site for residents and tourists alike.”

The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan. As of February 15, 2018, MEDC has provided $4,700,666 in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 154 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $5.6 million raised from 28,416 individual donors.

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